Special Report

States Where the Most People Work for the Government

45. New Hampshire
> Pct. workers in government, 2015:
13.7%
> Pct. workers in government, 2005: 14.4% (7th lowest)
> Chg. government workers (2005-2015): -1.4% (12th largest increase)
> People per square mile: 147.0 (21st most)

Only about 13.7% of New Hampshire’s workforce is employed by the local, state or federal government. While the public sector accounts for a relatively small proportion of jobs in the state, that share has decreased in the last decade. The total number of public sector employees declined by 1.4% — or about 1,300 workers — between 2005 and 2015.

44. Illinois
> Pct. workers in government, 2015:
13.9%
> Pct. workers in government, 2005: 14.4% (9th lowest)
> Chg. government workers (2005-2015): -1.8% (11th largest decrease)
> People per square mile: 231.1 (12th most)

Local governments employ the majority of public workers in every state. In Illinois, however, a disproportionately high share — 72.2% — of the 830,300 government workers are employed at the local level. Only 13.9% of the Illinois workforce is employed by local, state, or federal institutions, less than the 15.5% national rate. Like most states with a relatively small percentage of government employees, Illinois is not especially rural. There are 231 people per square mile, making it the 12th most densely populated state.

43. Michigan
> Pct. workers in government, 2015:
14.0%
> Pct. workers in government, 2005: 15.4% (15th lowest)
> Chg. government workers (2005-2015): -11.8% (2nd largest decrease)
> People per square mile: 174.8 (17th most)

The number of government workers in Michigan declined by nearly 80,000 between 2005 and 2015. While many sectors lost jobs during that time, only the state’s manufacturing sector had a greater total decline. Today, just 14% of Michigan’s workers are employed by the state, federal, or a local government, compared to 15.4% in 2005.

42. Indiana
> Pct. workers in government, 2015:
14.0%
> Pct. workers in government, 2005: 14.4% (8th lowest)
> Chg. government workers (2005-2015): 0.1% (36th largest increase)
> People per square mile: 181.0 (16th most)

Only 14% of Indiana’s workforce is employed in the public sector. Over a quarter of these workers are employed by the state government, many of them at the University of Indiana, one of the largest public universities in the country.

41. Ohio
> Pct. workers in government, 2015:
14.2%
> Pct. workers in government, 2005: 14.7% (11th lowest)
> Chg. government workers (2005-2015): -3.9% (8th largest decrease)
> People per square mile: 282.3 (10th most)

Like in several other major industries in Ohio, the number of government jobs in Ohio has decreased in the last decade. As of last year, 768,600 Ohio residents are either employed by either local, state or federal government entities, a 3.9% drop from 10 years ago. Today, only 14.2% of Ohio’s employed population works for the government, a smaller share than all but a handful of other states.